the current establishment. Huntingtonnthen breaks with most conventional attemptsnat interpreting American historynby (1) his emphasis on the central role ofnideas; (2) his view of consensus as the keynto conflict; (3) his cyclical interpretation;nand (4) his predictions concerning thenftiture.nLike an increasingly large number ofnacademicians—e.g. Berger, Nisbet,nBell, Greeley—Huntington seems fascinatednby religion and its role in Americanndevelopment. He stresses the importancenof the Protestant component in thenAmerican creed and suggests that Americanwould not be itself without Protestantism.nHe cites the relevance of thenGreat Awakenings to creedal passionnoutbreaks and he speculates about thenramifications of increased secularization.nHe approvingly quotes Chesterton:n”America is a nation with the soul of anchurch.” Strangely, he fails to considernthe most germane religious parallel tonthe U.S. creedal conflict, which indeednraises the question of the uniqueness ofnthe American experience. The CatholicnChurch has traditionally lived with thisnsame problem and has a much longernhistory of coping. It is based on a transcending,nidealistic creed, but mustnoperate in the mundane world. Like thenU. S., it has a largely inborn clientele thatnhas been taught the creed. Always therenis the possibility of conflict between thenideal (Sermon on the Mount, etc.) andnthe world of institutions, authority, hierarchynand politics. There have been greatnreforming periods obsessed with the gapnbetween the ideal and the actual—thenmonastic reform, the Counterreformation,nVatican II. The Church has confrontednthe problem of maintaining annunreachable ideal whUe surviving in thenmundane world. It has attempted to preserventhat ideal without allowing it tondestroy the ecclesiastical structure. It hasnsought a balancing act that reconciles anFrancis of Assisi with an Innocent III. Thenresult is a perennial tension linked to anpotential for conflict—and an impressivenmeasure of success. The Catholic solution,nthrashed out in the early Middlen18nChronicles of CulturenAges, was to divide the spheres of influence.nThe bishops who wielded powernusually were realists, adroit at dealingnwith the secular world. They thought innterms of a cost/benefit calculation, incrementalnchange, ramification andnsystem survival. The ideal wasnacknowledged, but it had to come tonfmition in the world of matter. In essencenthe bishops tended to be Aristotelian.nThe enthusiasts (mystics, prophets, etc.),nobsessed with the ultimate norm and thendiscrepancy between it and churchnpolitics, were usually denied the exercisenof power and often relegated to thenschools and monasteries. They might bencanonized, but only posthumously.nThus there was room for both thenAristotelians (bishops) and Platonistsn(enthusiasts) within the official structure.nHence the Church preserved the visionnof the ideal and usually avoidednfoolish action, thus enabling survival innthe secular world. The point of thisnRoman excursion is to suggest that thenAmerican creedal case is not unique.nOther institutions have experienced thenproblem and learned to adjust. There arencomparative models available to thenAmericanists.nJnLuntington is to be commended fornfocusing on the creedal problem and accordingnideas their rightful place innAmerican history. Other than its claim tonuniqueness, the main problem with hisnschema is his fourth creedal period—n1960’s-early 70’s. Is it really akin to thenRevolutionary, Jacksonian and Progressivenperiods? It takes some stretching tonnnattribute this last outbreak only to Americanntheory-practice discrepancy, in viewnof its international character. The polemics,nthe demonstrations, the level of participationncharacterized many WesternnEuropean societies as well. Does thenfourth creedal period really mesh withnthe other three, or does it go well beyondnthem? Did something alien enter thenpolity? Motivation is complex, and therenwere many individuals and organizationsnthat participated in the festivities of then60’s and 70’s. Altogether they nurturedna cultural upheaval that affected familynstructure, sexual preference, drug use,nmusic, dietary practice and general lifestyle.nAlthough they attempted to politicizenmany nonpolitical aspects of life,npolitical reform was but one part of theirncrusade. It requires a leap of faith to linknthis with Huntington’s American creed,nwhich is based on 17th-century Protestantismnand 18th-century Lockean liberalism.nThe enthusiasts of the 60’s andn70’s seemed to have little in commonnwith the creed or its progenitors. Thenpeople who condemned America, carriednVietcong flags and disrupted publicnmeetings appeailed to Marx and Guevaranrather than to Washington and Jefferson.nThe Protestant work ethic, reason,ndiscipline and property rights were notnimportant considerations.nHuntington seems exceptionally charitablenin attributing motives to thesenactivists. He accepts at face value theirncommitment to the American creed andntheir desire to close the gap betweenncreed and practice. This may describensome activists, but many others simplynReligion in AmericanFrom an inspired manifesto by a righteous group of dynamicnMethodists whose motto—“I am setting a plumbline in the midst ofnmy people . . .”—is taken from Amos 7:8 comes this:nLast week in a local Federation gathering we discussed Reaganomicsnand the strategies of the conservative forces to fashion out of the presentneconomic crisis a new and more ‘efficient’ revival of U.S.ncapitalism. A really dismal prospect to dwell upon! Dn